Muckamore beat Lisburn in crunch clash
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
MUCKAMORE moved off the bottom of the Robinson Services Premier League table and put Lisburn under pressure to preserve their top flight status.
David Miller, with a 38-ball innings of 52, almost single-handedly steered Muckamore to their victory target of 96 at Moylena yesterday to inflict a second successive defeat on last year’s Section One champions.
Having lost to North Down on Saturday by 97 runs, Lisburn knew the visit to one of the two teams below them was essentially a must-win game but they could total only 95-9 in their 20 overs with only the top three making it into double figures.
Indeed, they collapsed from 39-1 at the start of the seventh over to just about batting out the overs with new professional Darren Stevens, bowled first ball by Steve Lazars.
Stevens, currently on loan at Derbyshire, from Kent, for the T20 Blast, has proved a success with the ball and after taking three wickets at The Green, he followed up yesterday with figures of 1-9 from his four overs, but Lisburn just didn’t have enough runs to defend.
Miller brought up his 50 in the 12th over, after dominating an opening stand of 67 in 10 overs with Jamie Rogers (13), and although he was the second of the four wickets to fall in the space of 19 balls, skipper Neil Gill and Sam Gordon avoided any further scares for a comfortable victory.
Muckamore, now level on points with Lisburn, whose last game is against CIYMS on Friday, have still three games to play while Instonians, after yet another blank weekend, are now bottom, four points behind but with six games to play!
The relegated team will be replaced next season by Woodvale who confirmed the Section One title yesterday with an emphatic 150 runs victory over their only remaining challengers, Cregagh, at Ballygomartin Road.
Stephen Bunting after hitting 54 from 39 balls in Woodvale’s 242-8, took three wickets in his first four overs and with Farhan Saeed chipping in with two, Cregagh were down and out at 11-5, before being bowled out in the 27th over.
Downpatrick saved themselves from relegation – for the moment – for the second successive game, yesterday beating already doomed Holywood by six wickets, despite Ross Adair scoring a 15-ball 50 for the losers.
The new teams in Section One next year will be Saintfield and Cliftonville Academy who were declared champions on Saturday, after beating Laurelvale in the only other game to be completed.